Cub Scouts

Moon or Mars Base – Out Of This World 3(d)

Requirement: Design on paper an inhabited base located on Mars or the moon. Consider the following:

  • energy source
  • how the base will be constructed
  • life-support system
  • food
  • entertainment
  • the purpose and function
  • other things you think would be important

Then do the following:

  1. Draw or build a model of your base using recycled materials.
  2. Discuss with your counselor what people would need to survive on Mars or the Moon.

Here’s a list of questions to guide your Cub through this requirement. Whether you’re a parent completing this requirement at home or a Den Leader in a meeting, I suggest you feed these questions to your Cubs and treat each section as a discussion to promote creativity and learning.

If you’re completing this requirement in a group setting, you can shoot these questions to the group as a whole or assign individual sections to different individuals within the den.

Purpose and Function

I think it’s important to address this question first, because it will affect many of the other decisions your Cub will make later.

  • What is your base for?
    • Exploration?
    • Research?
    • Colonization?
    • Vacation resort?
  • Will people live in your base? Robots? Both?
    • How many people? 10, 100, 1000?

Energy Source

  • What will power your base?
    • Solar panels?
    • Nuclear energy?
    • Wind power?
  • What will power the base when the sun isn’t shining? Or the wind isn’t blowing?
  • What will power the base if your main energy source fails?

Additional Resources – Energy Source

Here are some short videos to show your kid if they’re unfamiliar with the different types of energy sources available on in space, Mars, or the Moon.

How Solar Panels Work
Nuclear Power For Spacecraft
NASA Spacecraft Power Options
How Do Wind Turbines Work?

How Will The Base Be Constructed?

  • Will the base be one structure or many?
    • How will people safely travel between multiple structures?
  • What will your base be constructed of?
    • Metal?
    • Plastic?
    • Materials found on the Moon/Mars?
  • Will the base be above or below ground?
  • Will you construct the base in place or bring pre-built modules?
  • What machines, personnel, and equipment will you need to construct the base?
  • How will you protect people against:
    • Radiation
    • Meteorite or debris damage

Additional Resources – Base Construction

Building A Moon Base
3D Printed Lunar Habitats

Life Support System

What is a life-support system? Since plant Earth is essentially our own huge life-support system, we don’t often think about this. The air around us is breathable, the temperature in most places is within a range that can sustain life, and we have an magnetosphere that protects us from harmful solar radiation.

But when you travel to the Moon or another planet, this won’t be the case. There won’t be any air. The temperature will change between unbelievably freezing to scorching hot. You’ll have to think ahead and take all the comforts of home with you.

Consider the following:

  • Air
    • How will you make fresh air for your base?
      • Bring it with you?
      • Greenhouse?
      • Use local materials to make it?
    • How will you deal with the carbon dioxide exhaled by people/animals?
      • Plants?
      • Filters?
    • How will you move air around the different parts of your base?
      • Pumps?
      • Ducts?
    • How will you deal with an air leak?
  • Temperature
    • How will you keep people in the base from getting too hot or too cold?
      • Air conditioning?
      • Heaters?
  • Radiation
    • How will you protect the base from radiation?

Additional Resources – Life Support

How Earth’s Atmosphere Protects Us
Life Support On The ISS
Dealing With Extreme Temperatures
Protecting Astronauts From Radiation

Food & Water

  • What will you eat?
    • Plants
      • Will you have a greenhouse?
      • What kinds of plants would you grow?
        • Healthy for you
        • Disease-resistant
        • Use little water
        • Don’t take up much space
      • How would you get the plants to the base initially?
    • Animals
      • Will you eat animals? Bugs?
      • What animals will you bring (think of same constraints as plants)?
      • How will you house, feed, and tend to them?
  • Water
    • Where will get water?
      • Bring it with you?
      • Recycle water/fluids from people on the base?
      • Find water locally?

Additional Resources – Food & Water

Recycling Air And Water On The ISS
Growing Plants On Mars Or The Moon
Growing Food On Mars


  • What will people do for fun on your base?
    • Play video games?
    • Watch movies?
    • Play music?
    • Go on hikes?

Other Important Things To Consider

Will you need any of the following:

  • Spaceport or landing facility
  • Hospital
  • Dining facilities
  • Sleeping facilities
  • Bathing facilities
  • Equipment repair facilities
  • Storage facilities
  • Ways to get into/out of the base
  • Vehicles to explore area around the base
  • Think about redundancy for everything. What happens in there’s an air leak and your greenhouse plants are destroyed?

That’s all I have for now. If you think of anything important to add, drop me a comment. Have fun, thanks for reading, and let’s get it done!

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